Liberals regroup after leader quits weeks before Saskatchewan election

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As for Friday, three candidates were listed on the party’s website. Anwar had been announced as a candidate in the Saskatoon University riding, but he confirmed he is no longer running.

“This time we’re not doing that,” Fuller said of having candidates in all 61 ridings. “We’re trying a different approach.”

Fuller said the party has rejected some candidates who wanted to run, and a goal has not been set for the number of candidates.

Anwar, who runs a Saskatoon-based tax consulting firm, said in a separate interview on Thursday that he quit because he grew tired of the adversarial nature of politics.

“The only thing is the blame game,” Anwar said.

He quit so close to the election because the campaign period loomed during which he would be compelled as leader to start criticizing his opponents, he said.

Anwar ran in the Saskatoon Westview riding against NDP Leader Cam Broten in 2016 in a deliberate attempt to try to take enough votes away to engineer Broten’s defeat. It may have worked, since Broten’s margin of defeat was smaller than the 240 votes Anwar got.

Anwar ran unsuccessfully for the NDP in 2011 and claimed the party had barred him from running again.

Under former leader Darrin Lamoureaux, the Liberals were one of three parties, along with the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP, to field 61 candidates in 2016. In 2011, under leader Ryan Bater, the Liberals fielded just nine candidates, getting 2,237 votes, far fewer than the Green Party.

The Liberals have yet to elect an MLA this century. Under leader David Karwacki, the party fielded a full slate of 58 candidates in 2003 and 2007. Despite attracting 14.2 per cent (2003) and 9.4 per cent (2007) of the vote and finishing third, no Liberals were elected.

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